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HopeWorx: providing more than just a meal

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Posted at 7:17 PM, May 31, 2024

GREAT FALLS — In a quiet corner of town, every Friday evening, the doors of an organization called HopeWorx swing open to welcome those in need. But this is no ordinary outreach.

As D Chapel, Director of HopeWorkx, explains, "It's not a feeding program. We hand out coats and we do feed, but it's more about giving hope to people that, you know, this life that you live in, if it's tough, there's hope that it doesn't always have to be this way."

WATCH:

HopeWorx: Providing More Than Just a Meal Every Friday Evening

A Holistic, Church-Based Approach

HopeWorx embraces a holistic approach rooted in church values. Chapel elaborates on their mission: "God didn't say not to sin because he wanted to take away all of our fun. He said, 'Don't sin because these things will destroy your life.' We love on the people that nobody wants to love on. Sometimes it's not a walk in the park, but it is rewarding when the light bulb comes on and they see, 'I want to be free from this.' And that's like, yes, that's why we do it, you know, honestly."

Powered by Local Support, Not Government Funding

Unlike many other programs, HopeWorx operates without government funding, relying instead on the generosity of the community. Chapel proudly shares, "We have people that walk by that have this money go into an account. We have a church here in town, Vineyard, that says, 'We'll pay the rent on the building.' So this is a cool thing that needs to happen. We'll pay the rent on the building and then people just donate."

Understanding the Homelessness Epidemic

Chapel offers his insights on the root causes of the homelessness epidemic, attributing it to a combination of generational issues and addiction. "There's a couple of things in it. It's generational, honestly. It's just passed down, unfortunately, so many of them end up in foster care and not to bad mouth foster care, thank goodness that they're around. But they've gone through the system, a lot of them. And of course, addiction, you know, it's just a killer. They don't really care about a lot of the stuff that maybe other people would care about. They care about where am I going to sleep tonight? How am I going to deal with this abuse? How do I get off drugs and alcohol? How do I get someplace safe?"

A Unique Outreach: Street Church

HopeWorx is affectionately known as Street Church by those who frequent it. Chapel explains why: "They call this place Street Church because we know a lot of them won't step into a regular church, maybe because they feel judged or maybe because they're just uncomfortable, and whatever the reason. About 10 minutes [to 6pm], we'll open the doors, come out here, get everybody together, speak a little message, pray for people who want to be prayed for, and then start feeding."

HopeWorx stands as a beacon of hope and support for those struggling with homelessness and addiction. By providing not just physical sustenance but also emotional and spiritual support, this organization is making a profound impact on the lives of many, one Friday evening at a time.

The weekly events are held at the intersection of Central Avenue and Seventh Street in downtown Great Falls.


FROM NOVEMBER 2017

Positively Montana